I heard about Plurk via Bounder on Twitter just a while ago and dutifully checked it out. First impression was it’s Twitter-onna-timeline. Further play sparked this strange, warm, fuzzy feeling that I initially put down to attitude.

Plurk has attitude and attitude counts.

It counts because it’s so easy to knock up a status logger (heck, I even rolled one myself). Whereas I never took to the minimal asthetics of the Twitter bird, the headless quadraped of Plurk (a dog?) somehow does it for me. The blog is spiky, witty, philosophical, informative and also cuts to the bone. I give you:

Don’t get us wrong, we love to eat our own dogfood, but we put real effort to ensure that our dogfood tastes good to all breeds of dogs around the world, and not just some small band of cliquish poodles who gather for crumpets every afternoon while sipping on their macchiatos and waxing philosophical on things that don’t matter.

Feature-wise, the timeline may be kind of a gimmick which I can’t see being easily reproduced on a mobile (where all the action is). Plurk also features karma in an incentive to drive recommendation and can embed video and pics from third-parties like Flickr and YouTube. Oh yeah, and threaded comments. No more hacky tracking @s.

The most significant feature for me is ‘cliques’, although I’d call them ‘circles’. With a clique you define an audience, allowing you to separate you personal from your professional from your whatever without all that messing about with separate profiles. Trying to work out the appropriateness of an update for a particular diverse context like Facebook gives me headaches. If Plurk could similarly let me target my cross-posting to sevices like Twitter and Facebook then I would be utterly, utterly sold. If a whole bunch of other people feel the same, is Plurker going to hit the same scaling issues as Twitter? I think not and here’s why:

Twitter’s scaling problem is not the Interweb’s problem.

We don’t need a monolithic status logging any more than we need a universal webmail provider or blogging platform. Users should be able to pick the one that suits their style and receive updates from the others, probably via some kind of pinging mechanism between services. Beta bloggers are likely to continue to hang out on Twitter. College kids will update their status on Facebook. The niches of different crowds will be met with myriad different services yet to emerge, all with a different take yet all working with each other.

It’s just starting to get interesting.

join me on Plurk


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